Many consider teaching to be an art, and while this may be so, it should also be grounded in evidence-based approaches in order to ensure student success.

Instructional planning is not just about planning in-class lessons; it includes the architecture of your entire course – the instruction and practice you need to provide, the work students need to do in and out of class, and the blueprint for how it all fits together. The planning of instruction is the link between learning outcomes and assessment of learning, which makes it an integral part of course alignment.

Careful instructional planning will support students as they acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes articulated in your learning outcomes, while your assessments will help demonstrate what they have learned successfully and potentially how well they have mastered it.

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This module focuses on breaking your course down into units of instruction, which are segments of a course that center around one or a related group of theories, concepts or skills. A unit plan is the big picture for that particular segment of the course that includes all the work students do include readings, lectures, homework exercises, in-class activities, etc. Once the unit plans are in place, you can begin to plan your in-class lessons.

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • design a unit of instruction using appropriate learning activities for each phase of instruction;
  • plan a lesson for your class using a variety of teaching techniques to engage students.

This module will introduce you to a framework for instruction and provide tools and resources for you to plan all aspects of instruction. The module consists of five sections, a summary review that you can download for your convenience, and an Instructional Planning completion task.

The next section will:

  • give you practical strategies for beginning your instructional planning.